Issue Number 4 2017 Deaf Bulletin

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International Day of Families

By Barbra Nyangairi

The 15th of May 2017 was the International Day of Families. While the world is commemorating this day, there are a number of people with disabilities’ whose children are taken from them to be raised by other people on the pretext that people with disabilities cannot raise their children by themselves. This is particularly common among the Deaf community where family members feel that if the child remains with a Deaf couple they may not learn to speak so they take the child so that they teach the child to talk.

There is no research that backs this theory that children who are born to Deaf parents will not be able to speak if they live with their parents. Historically, women with disabilities have been denied opportunities for parenthood through involuntary sterilisation. This has been a denial of the right to make and raise a family. While involuntary sterilisation was outlawed, many parents with disabilities are not viewed as capable parents by society. The right to become a parent is seen as basic for most people yet people with disabilities are denied this right. There are always questions on their capacity to raise a family, concerns about having children with disabilities if the disability is hereditary. The right to be parents and raise children for people with disabilities should be respected. As Zimbabweans we need to support people with disabilities in their quest to raise their families.

Other topics in this bulletin:

  • My experience living among the hearing.
  • Highlights from DZT’s work.
  • Parental support, the key to success for Deaf and hard of hearing children!

About DZT

Deaf Zimbabwe Trust was formed and registered as a trust in 2012 and began operations in 2013. Initially the organisation was formed to advance the rights of Deaf children.

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